Letters of Administration is one of the methods in managing a deceased’s estate. In general, it is filed when the deceased left no will.
The application is filed where:
-The deceased dies without a will or other testamentary document
-There is a valid and enforceable will but the executor had died before proving the will
-The person who had obtained grant of letters of administration did not complete the administration of the estate
Depending on the value and type of estate left by the deceased, the application is made either at the High Court, Pejabat Pusaka Kecil or Amanah Raya Berhad.
PROBATE VS LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
-Probate: when the deceased dies with a will. Letter of Administration: no will is left or there is a will but the administrator does not fulfil it.
-Probate: administrator is as specified in the will. Letter of Administration: the administrator is appointed by the High Court or other authority.
-Probate: does not require an order for the division of the estate. Letter of Administration: requires an order for division.
FARAID VS LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
-Faraid is a method of estate distribution for Muslims. There is a fixed ratio that has been set according to the Shari’a and should be followed by the heirs of the deceased.
-The Letter of Administration gives the right to the administrator who has been appointed by the court or the authority to distribute the estate to the heirs.
COURT CASE REGARDING FAMILY CONFLICT ON LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
Saadon bin Abdullah lwn Jamilah bt Omar dan lain-lain  MLJU 652
This case involves the dispute over the inheritance of the late Haji Omar (‘the deceased’). Grant of Letters of Administration has been issued to his third wife. After she died, Saadon’s father, Abdullah took over. Then Saadon took over the administration of the deceased’s estate after his father died.
Saadon stated that the deceased’s next of kin agreed to appoint him to apply for the administration of the estate. It was settled at Amanah Raya Berhad but Saadon withdrew after failing to pay the costs. The children of the deceased, which is the Defendants, then applied for a Letter of Administration and the powers were given to them.
Saadon filed a claim against the Defendants to revoke the Letters of Administration so that the power of administration was granted to him.
But the Court rejected Saadon’s claim because he could not prove sufficient cause to overturn the Letters of Administration.
ARE LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION APPLICABLE TO MUSLIM?
The answer: YES!
As the previously shared court case, the application for a Letters of Administration has been made by a Muslim family.
However, there is no compulsion for Muslims to file the distribution of estate through the Letters of Administration as the faraid method can also be used.
The important thing is the mutual agreement between the heirs for the method of distribution of the deceased’s property. This is to avoid any conflicts later on.
WHAT ARE THE PROCEDURES TO APPLY FOR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
Every application for grant of Letters of Administration shall be:
Made to the High Court atau the Pejabat Pusaka Kecil or Amanah Raya Berhad
If made to the High Court:
-By way of originating summons
-Supported by an affidavit setting out the information or documents as the Registrar may require
It is advisable to appoint a lawyer to help you in filing the application.
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